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THE STORY OF SCHOOLS IN THE UPPER DALES

The Story of Schools in the Upper Dales was a project run by The NASH and Dales Countryside Museum about the history of village schools in Upper Wensleydale, Swaledale and Arkengarthdale. The story unfolded through the gathering of oral histories in which the memories of people who attended Dales schools from the 1930s onwards was recorded, new research and a school engagement programme. 

A spectacular 4.5 metre-wide community photo mosaic was created with art and design studio The People’s Picture.  A Mosaic of Dales Youth featured 2,283 photo tiles of youth and school-life in the Upper Dales which were shared by local people and came together to create a whole new image.

A multimedia exhibition ran at Dales Countryside Museum from 17 May to 18 July 2021 telling The Story of Schools through the big reveal of the mosaic, interpretation boards, audio recordings, a short film and artefacts. The exhibition is due to tour to Tennants in Leyburn as part of Swaledale Festival 2022.

The material in this project is for educational purposes and forms part of a learning resource available at Dales Countryside Museum. Use the links on the right to explore the mosaic and exhibition, and check out the project blog below for summaries of some fascinating oral history interviews. 

A big thanks to our funders – The National Lottery Heritage Fund and its players, and the Sustainable Development Fund


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Helen Marshall of The People’s...

Helen Marshall of The People’s...

Published: 20 March 2020

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Story of Schools

As part of this project digital artist Helen Marshall of The People’s Picture will be creating a photo mosaic made up of 1,000+ photos of Upper Dales schools/youth from the dawn of photography to the present day.  These images...

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Information sheets out now!

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Published: 20 March 2020

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Story of Schools

Over the coming weeks and months we will be interviewing people who went to school in the Upper Dales from the 1930s/40s onwards and recording their memories.  We will also be mapping and making discoveries about schools - past and present -...

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Published: 20 March 2020

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Story of Schools

The NASH was founded in 1845 and built as a Victorian ‘National School’, but its bell tower has been mysteriously empty for at least a century.  Local records tell us that The NASH bell originally came from nearby Gayle...

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